Useful Writing Conventions

This is a thread where we can talk about some writing conventions you can use to improve your story.

A writing convention is when the author words their story and uses certain techniques to allow the reader to engage with the story. This can be through the use of punctuation for example, writing in short sentences to build tension as the reader breathes faster.

So let’s look at some other famous writing conventions and we can go over more in the thread:

Chekhov’s Gun

This phrase effectively comes from the fact that every detail of the story should contribute to the overall plot. For example if in the first chapter a gun is hung on the wall then in the next it should be fired (Chekhov’s Gun). This means that if you attract the readers attention to something, you should make that thing useful unless of course it is a…

Red Herring

This is when you attract the readers attention to one thing, only for the other thing to be the contributing factor to the plot. Remember in a series of unfortunate events when the Baudelaire’s thought that the Quagmire’s were going to be auctioned off in one slot so thet focused on that one but it turned out they were in a giant red herring. That is what this is.


Otherwise known as the “trigger” for the plot.


This is really interesting. Only heard about a red herring because it was used a lot and addressed in A Series of Unfortunate Events. Great read. And I’m pretty sure the author of ASUE uses a lot of those techniques.


He does indeed

Including my favourite

Deus ex machina :heart_eyes:


There are so many more! I’ve never heard of any of these other than Red Herring though lol

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I will be adding more soon I just needed to get this posted :joy:

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Does anyone have any examples of how this could be used in your stories/writing?

Bump! :wilted_flower:

Personally I’ve always enjoyed the dichotomy of MacGuffin and Checkov’s Gun. Often they’re the same thing. But if the Checkov’s Gun aspect is missing, it becomes a Deus-Ex Machina. Always enjoyed that


@writers how many of these have you used before or will use now that you know about it? Or do you have any other ideas?


I only knew the McGuffin, I guess I’ll try the other ones now!

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If people name more I can add them :eyes:

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Closed due to inactivity